mad anthony

Rants, politics, and thoughts on politics, technology, life,
and stuff from a generally politically conservative Baltimoron.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Kash for Kitties?

Via Consumerist, and also a lengthy fatwallet thread, is the proposed tax break for pet owners, allowing them to deduct pet care from their taxes, up to $3500. The proposed law doesn't really define "pet care" beyond specifying that it includes vet care and excludes acquisition costs.

I'm torn on this. On one hand, I'm not a big fan of the government using tax law to reward some groups (and thus basically take money from other groups and give it to them). It's why things like cash for clunkers, the first-time homebuyer tax credit, mortgage readjustments for people whose mortgages happened to be owned by the right quasi-government agency, and many of the other recent schemes piss me off - they just give money to random people, often for not doing anything more than being in the right place at the right time - having the right trade-in or being in the housing market.

On the other hand, as a pet owner, it would be nice to get a break. You could probably justify the break not only on the claimed health benefits, but also on reducing some of the cost for animal control and shelters if it encourages people to adopt more.

Actually, one of the posters in the fatwallet thread had a better idea - how about a one-time tax break for the cost of spaying/neutering pets? I'd even throw in being able to write off the cost of adoption fees for adopting a pet from a shelter. This would be far cheaper than being able to write off $3500 worth of kibble, and also bits. It would also encourage/reward people for doing something responsible, and something that clearly impacts shelters/animal control.


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